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Chicken or the Egg? July 31, 2006

Posted by jojoe in Personal.
1 comment so far

Don’t know what made me start thinking about this tonight. In their song, “Dear God”, XTC asks God, “Did you make mankind after we made you?” It’s really an interesting theological question. Is there God without humanity? If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, does it make a sound?

It’s a hard thing to imagine. God just waiting there for billions of years until we came around. Was he bored? I suppose that’s why fundamentalists want us to believe that Genesis is as it’s written. That the world is 6,000 years old and the fossils are just tests of faith. Because for a fundamentalist, God is probably too active in the affairs of man to just sit around for billions of years watching things develop. I mean how interesting would it be to wait for that first critter to venture from the primordial lake. Maybe he just fast forwarded. But if you’re fundamentalist and think God sticks his hand down here, why would he bother with all that eveloution? Why not just get to the good stuff?
It helps if there are a bunch of humanoids elsewhere in the galaxy. Then God can kind of move from one star system to another and mess with things and keep himself entertained. Except according to the Big Bang theory everything started at once, so God would have had to sit around and wait, unless he was somehow entertained by clouds of gases forming and such.

So I guess I’m thinking that maybe evolution is at odds with the traditional conception of an active God that does things like puts his son down on earth and brings down an apocalypse. If it’s all about man, why would God go through the trouble of evolution? Maybe we should be asking this question in biology, along with intelligent design.

Which gets me to another point. I don’t think the religion I grew up with has the capacity of speaking with a truly compassionate voice about nature. I mean, after all, it is an anthropmorphic god. We were made in his image. We have dominion over the rest. Yes, we’re supposed to take care of it and all, but if there is this apocalpyse, we’re just kind of milking a ten year old car, aren’t we? When push comes to shove, it is man first. I mean, would an anthropomophic god really hang around after we’ve destroyed ourselves to wait a billion years for something else to evolve? Would he morph himself into an intelligent cockroach?

So, to sum up, I guess I have a better understanding why fundamentalists resist evolution. Evolution is kind of a weird thing for an anthropormorphic god to do. For Christians that believe in evolution, I think there is a bit of a strain between the conception of an active God that intercedes in the affairs of man and the fact that we are but a blip in the evolutionary scheme. I also worry that the anthropormorphic basis of Christianity makes a love of nature or a sense that we are but a piece of nature a clumsy add-on. Did the Native Americans or Buddhists have it right?


Polar Watch Repair July 25, 2006

Posted by jojoe in Personal.

My Polar watch has been dead now for some time. And I miss it. Nothing pleases me more than seeing my average heart rate after a workout. So I am finally getting around to sending it in for repair. I am hoping it is as simple as getting a new battery. Don’t ask me why you have to send this watch in to get a new battery. Anyway, here’s the text of my letter to Polar. I figured I might as well have a little fun.

“I have enclosed my Polar watch and request that you bring it back to life. I hope it is as simple as replacing the battery. Please contact me using my email address (xxxxx@yahoo.com) with your diagnosis and cost so that we can get this bad boy back on my wrist in working condition.”

Stem Cell Research July 23, 2006

Posted by jojoe in Politico.

Bush’s veto of Congress’ stem cell research bill is ridiculous. I really don’t understand the moralists on this one. Even if I were to agree that fertilized egg no bigger than a period deserves to be protected (I am not sure on the science here, it may be microscopic rather than the size of a period), how is it better to be frozen for an eternity than used for research that has the potential to immensely improve other’s lives? Yes, I know there are a few snowflake babies, but I am sure that the number of in vitro fertilizations outnumbers the snowflake babies, meaning that there are more and more frozen embryos.

Couple of side thoughts here…. Who are the people that make these snow flake babies? I want to know. Are they just such moralist nut jobs that they chose to use some random embyos rather than their own? Do they get a discount on the in vitro fertilization if these use someone else’s junk? Do they get to know whose junk they are using? I want an interview on this.

Where is the “liberally biased media” on this? Bush trots out the snowflake babies. Did anyone ask how many snowflake babies there were compared to the increase in the number of frozen embryos created by continuing in virto fertilization? Why is Bush OK with in vitro fertilization which leaves these frozen embryos (or flushed embyos?) behind? It really makes no sense to me. I read that liberal bastion, the New York Times, and found nothing on this. I wanna know.

OK, that’s it for now.